SpeakUp Success Model – Component 3: ‘Easy’

Organisations frequently ask that we merge all our insights into one overview. While challenging, this is a request we would love to make an effort for and we came up with the first version of the SpeakUp Success Model. How did we go about this? We created one huge Mindmap gathering all feedback, knowledge and best practices of the past years and we confined them to eight main components. The purpose of the model is to create an all-embracing framework. More importantly, we hope to inspire and encourage an alternative perspective on the topic. The SpeakUp Success Model aims to describe the components which can make this SpeakUp Programme a success. These are:

Our third component of the series is dedicated to simply making things easy. It is of vital importance that anyone who has a concern or question can easily find the guidance they need. Before you rush through this topic thinking that your programme is of course as easy as it can be, allow us to point out that easiness is subject to detail. The tiniest detail could make the whole process appear as “too complicated” and nudge people in the wrong direction. Feeling paralysed, turning a blind eye, quitting, or even joining the misconduct, are all possible outcomes of a complicated SpeakUp programme.

It is also helpful to distinguish between direct victims of misconduct and witnesses. A witness does not have much to gain from reporting an incident, quite the contrary. They can, however, still possess critical information that could shed light on a case, so making things easy for witnesses should be just as important.

An effective SpeakUp Programme can be illustrated as the harmony between someone finding the courage to speak up just when someone else is ready to listen. And listening can be just as challenging as speaking up. Even the most committed leaders cannot act as full-time listeners. And even if they did, effective listening requires picking up the signals and reading between the lines. No one facing a real issue will ever come up and shout “I have a huge problem, listen to me!”.

A SpeakUp tool is basically an asset for you to invest in to create this ideal scenario: as soon as someone feels ready to share, someone on the other end is at that exact point there to effectively listen. To maximise your ROI, the tool should be kept as low-barrier as possible: constantly available, widely accessible (via multiple avenues), extremely user-friendly, exceptionally secure, perfectly anonymous and free of unnecessary questions. These are to be established as the norm for every user around the globe.

Some of our tips for making things easy:

  • Make the SpeakUp tool your programme’s safety net
  • Implement the easiest SpeakUp tool (24/7, multiple channels, easy UX)
  • Provide a fully multilingual process
  • Keep it anonymous
  • Direct the scope of the SpeakUp Programme towards any potential breaches of the Code of Conduct
  • Have a simple front-end flow: one central intake point
  • Dedicate the initiation phase to building trust and activating silent witnesses
  • Avoid overloading people with questions/tasks from the start
  • Use positive wording – abandon complex legal terminology

In this blog, we briefly touched upon anonymity which is obviously a topic worth discussing on its own. Keep an eye for our next blog dedicated to the concept of Balanced Anonymity.

If you missed the previous articles about the SpeakUp Success Model, you can find them here: The first blog is about the Introduction of the speakUp Success Model. The second component will tell you more about the ‘SpeakUp Culture‘ and the third component is about ‘Purpose-Focused‘. Stay Tuned!

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